Fellow bloggers, I expect a good few of you are, like me, fascinated with the stats and figures WordPress makes available to us too, to gauge how “successful” our blogs are.
For a long time with 35hunter, I was most interested in visitors and page views.
Surely, I thought, the more visits and page views I get, the more successful the blog is?
In time I’ve realised why I write and share posts here.
In short, it’s to encourage community and conversation around photography, why and how we do it, and what we’re learning along the way.
So the predominant statistic I’m interested in are the comments.
Not just the quantity – one of the reasons I abandoned Instagram amongst other social sites was the high volumes of superficial comments and silly emoticons.
When you’re kind enough to pop by and spend time at 35hunter, I don’t want you to run past and throw a fleeting high five and a wink. I’d much rather sit down and chat with you about your unique take and experiences relating to the latest posts.
In the WordPress stats, the section that contains pretty much all I need is under Annual Site Stats.
This is how it looks as I’m writing.
Here I can see the kind of evolution that reassures me I’m moving in the right direction.
Total comments is higher this year by far than previous years (and we’re only in May).
More useful than the total comments is the average per post. Again this seems to be steadily increasing over the years, and this year, 20+ comments per post seems a good place to be, and to build from.
I’ll be frank, “Total Likes” is a stat I’m annoyed with.
Despite switching off the “like” option on 35hunter, it seems you can’t disable the function in WordPress Reader, which is where many of you are still “liking” me. Again, back to the fleeting high fives and winking – I’d rather you sat down and talked with me (ie commented) every few posts than “Liked” every single one.
Finally, a thought on average words per post, which I think is also something that can influence people’s reading and interaction.
In 2016 I was writing a series of mini novels it seems, averaging nearly 1200 words each.
Since then, I’ve consciously tried to edit more harshly (a severity reflected in my photo editing too) to give the posts more punch and less waffle.
I’d like to be averaging between 600 and 700 words per post by the end of the year – long enough for some in depth expansion on a particular idea or two, but short enough to engage your attention right to the end, where I hope you’ll leave your thoughts.
The point of this post is simple. For a photo blog, success means very different things to different people.
For me, the community and conversation is paramount, and something I actively try to encourage and nurture.
I’m able to see that, from the raw stats and from the regular interactions we have here, on that front I consider 35hunter a steadily growing success.
How do you measure the success of your blog – whether it’s about photography or anything else? Which stats are most useful to you?
Please share your thoughts below (and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.